A Rational Basis for the Use of Combined Heparin/Aspirin and IVIG Immunotherapy in the Treatment of Recurrent IVF Failure Associated with Antiphospholipid Antibodies


Pacific Fertility Medical Center, 10921 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA 90024.


PROBLEMS: 1) Does the administration of heparin and aspirin (H/A) in combination with intravenous immunoglobulin G (IVIG) improve in vitro fertilization (IVF) implantation and birth rates in patients with recurrent IVF failures? 2) Is the effect of such treatment related to the antiphospholipid antibody (APA) status of the patients concerned?

METHOD OF STUDY: Subjects consisted of 89 women younger than 36 years of age whose infertility was a result of causes other than male infertility and who had experienced four or more failed IVF/embryo transfer procedures. Fifty-two women were APA+ (group A), and 37 were APA- (group B). All patients, regardless of their APA status, received H/A (5000 U sq bid), aspirin (81 mg po qd) from the inception of menotropin therapy along with IVIG (20 g) through a single infusion 3 to 10 days before egg retrieval.

RESULTS: Twenty-two (42%) of group A and 7 (19%) of group B patients achieved live births (P = 0.020).

CONCLUSIONS: IVF outcome is significantly improved when H/A and IVIG are administered to APA+ women with repeat IVF failures. APA- women do not seem to benefit from such treatment.